Written by Staff Writer
11 Oct, 2015 | 9:22 am
A dangerous rogue elephant in the Batticaloa area, was captured after valiant efforts by the Wildlife Department. This elephant had allegedly been terrorising a village and had killed and maimed persons on more than one occasion.
Shortly after a protest that lasted for eight hours on Monday, by about 1000 locals from 15 surrounding villages, Batticaloa wildlife officers stepped in to remedy the situation. They captured the animal after a three-day operation.
This is the fate that befalls some wild elephants that cross over to human settlements. This animal in the prime of his life has been punished, for villagers say this bull elephant was found guilty of killing humans – two men and a woman.
The motive, we are told for this pachyderm to move in to human areas is, lack of food in his usual habitat and rapid deforestation.
Veterinarian Dr. Nihal Pushpakumara stated that they found the killer elephant in the Wellawela area. He stated that the elephant was around 9 feet in height and is a male elephant aged between 40 – 45 years.
He went on to note that they tranquilized the elephant as they hope to trans locate the elephant to a safe area.
Wildlife officials say that there is yet another elephant to be captured and that this will be done soon. How successful will these operations are in settling the larger issues of the human – elephant conflict is yet to be seen.
The issue does not seem to be restricted to the Batticaloa alone. In the south, a malfunctioned electric fence set up for the sole purpose of preventing wild elephants invading human settlements has given cause for human lives to be under threat.
In Weliara – Sooriyawewa, a house was damaged at around 1a.m. on Sunday by a wild elephant that roamed out of a jungle nearby.
As the occupants of the house were not in at the time no casualties were reported. However, the encroachment of the elephant has caused much financial damage.
The threat from elephants is also evident in the Thoppur area in Trincomalee area. Elephants were seen making frequent visits to the Jinna town, Asath town, Munnappbadi, and Wettai areas.
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